A young swimming sensation and sports scholar at Rydal Penrhos achieved a significant milestone at a high-profile national competition.
Zach Speakman, a Year 11 pupil at the school, recently took his place at the Manchester International Swim meet, which featured some of the country’s top talents and competitors from as far afield as Switzerland and Japan.
The 16-year-old produced a stunning effort in the 200-metre Individual Medley, securing a gold medal for the very first time in a competition of this standing against older and more experienced opposition.
This enabled Zach to surge into first place in the UK rankings immediately following the triumph, and he narrowly missed out on the Junior Welsh Record by just 0.5 seconds.
Zach’s fine form continued in the 100m backstroke event, where he secured a Bronze medal with a superb time of 57 seconds to once again surge up the national rankings in this particular category.
As part of his training during the holidays, Zach also attended Chester University where Sports Studies students completed a battery of tests on him and another Welsh squad member.
Among the things tested were Zach’s VO2 and the pupil should receive the results from the extremely physical tests in the coming weeks.
It promises to be an incredibly busy few weeks for the Swim Wales international, with the Winter National Championships next up later this month before a Welsh squad day in December.
Zach will be aiming to make another significant impression on the continent when he travels to Luxembourg in February for another International Meet.
In addition to his exploits in a competitive environment, Zach is also taking his RLSS Pool Lifeguard qualification under the expert guidance of Head of Swimming Maciej Ruszkowski.